by Christian McKune
On Thursday, February 4, Ridge View High School hosted the 2016 Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.
High School students from Ridge View, Richland Northeast, Westwood, Blythewood, and Spring Valley gathered in Ridge View’s small and large gyms to participate in an array of athletic activities.
The ceremony kicked off with each school being announced and coming out with their own school banners. The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem were presented by three of Ridge View’s own students. The pledge was recited by DeAndre McCorkle and his sister, Alisha. The National Anthem was performed by Kiara Williamson. The dance team and a group of student leaders then came forward with a routine to get the audience into the spirit of the Special Olympics prior to the start of the games.
“I thought it was a great event. The school spirit and commitment to bring awareness to individuals with special needs was awesome,” said Jim Straka, Moderate Intellectual Disability teacher.
The participants competed in several different shooting and running competitions throughout the hour long event. The games ended with a dance by members from Ridge View’s dance department.
When asked how he felt after the games, participant Brandon Hardwick stated, “I was excited. I did really good in the events. My favorite was the Spot Shot.”